This weekend we remember soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice, laying down their lives to protect their homeland and defend our freedom. As we dust off the grill, fill up the kiddie pool, or turn on the tv, we take at least a moment to remember their great sacrifice. The fallen soldier’s sacrifice is a legacy we honor.
Take some time today too to reflect on others who have impacted your life. Who has left you the greatest legacies? I don’t mean money or a house, though certainly be grateful for those. I mean the eternal legacies… who brought you to church for the first time? Who taught your bible classes as a child? Who studied with you before your baptism? Is there a preacher whose words caused a sea change? Maybe at a Gospel meeting or your wedding or the funeral of a parent. Who stood alongside you during a crisis like an illness or marriage troubles or the loss of a child? Who has held your hand through your heartbreaks in this life? Remember these legacies of compassion and service and love.
Remember as well the greatest sacrifice of all… when Jesus, sinless, God in human form, went willingly to take your place on the cross.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
There’s nothing quite like a royal wedding… the crowds, the carriage, the prestigious guests in their fancy hats, and, of course, the bride. It’s a spectacle! At least, that’s what Lea says.
Everyone has ‘that thing’ they get excited about. Maybe it’s royal weddings, or football season, or holidays. Maybe it’s Disney or travel or new books.
Sometimes someone might surprise you with their enthusiasm. This week while Windsor was quite sick, I stopped by her favorite fast food place. When I got home, I discovered a slim package from Amazon on the doorstep. I ripped it open as I walked inside. I handed Lea the children’s book she had ordered and the bag from McDonald’s. “Windsor, which first? Book or Mcdonalds?” Lea asked. “Read!” Windsor demanded, to my shock and Lea’s delight.
God created us with a wonderful capacity for interest, passion, and enthusiasm. At times, though, our enthusiasm for God and the church is pushed aside for our diverting earthly concerns. This world is full of beautiful distractions! Let’s recommit this week to focusing on what is eternally important.
Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus… Hebrews 3:1
Mother’s Day. It’s a beautiful celebration. It’s an awful day to power through. It’s gifts and brunch and joy. It’s heartache and memories and tears.
Motherhood is messy. Some of us have lost our mothers and we mourn. Some of us are estranged from our mothers and we grieve. Some of us have lost children and we know heartbreak. Some couldn’t have children, didn’t have children, didn’t have as many children as they wanted. There are many who celebrate today and many who mourn. Mother’s Day is a lightning rod for all of us in our own way. This makes celebration sweeter, and it makes mourning more bearable. Because, no matter what, we are not alone. Whether you’re celebrating today or wishing something in life could be different… I say to you, you are not alone. Your church family stands beside you and our God is a God of love everlasting.
Women, and mothers in particular, are sometimes held up to an ideal… to a Proverbs 31 perfection. But no one is perfect. No situation is perfect. Yet days like Mother’s Day are here to remind us that we have many strong, influential, courageous, hurting, imperfect women to recognize in our lives.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15
My little family was recently engaged in Windsor’s favorite activity: swimming! (For those of you who guessed Eating Fries, that’s a close second!) Windsor has recently discovered she can touch the bottom of the pool. She grew two inches and was amazed and delighted by this development. While exploring in the pool, I was holding her in my arms and she was stretching her little toes as far as she could to touch the bottom. “It’s too deep. It’s even too deep for Mommy!” I explained to her. She immediately frantically reached out to her mother and grabbed her hand. I held Windsor and Windsor held her mommy’s hand until we got back to the shallow end. She didn’t realize her mommy can swim. She didn’t realize I could only touch the bottom with the tips of my toes. She trusted me to keep her safe, to keep them both safe. And in every way it’s in my power, I always will.
How many times in life have you held on to God knowing you can’t touch the bottom? After this moving occurrence in the pool, I reflected on the many times that’s been the case for me. From instances in my childhood and my young adulthood, to the many helpless moments in Windsor’s babyhood, to her health concerns in the future, I have known I can’t touch the bottom. How fortunate I am that God can touch the bottom… and He’s promised to hold me up through it all.
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” Isaiah 41:13